Doggy holidays are a chance to bond with your beloved pooch, and let them run wild in the great outdoors where their dribbling with excitement won’t ruin your couch. Take a break for you, and for them. Hurrah.
With Crufts 2014 right around the corner (6:30pm Thursday 6 on More4), we’ve been inspired to take a look at where in the world owners can indulge their dogs, Crufts winners or not. Whether you’re treating your terrier, spoiling your spaniel or pampering your pug (yes, we have lots more of those), find out which European holiday spots are pet and owner friendly…
Forest Holidays, England and Scotland
This poochy paradise is all about pet-friendly cabins, which are hidden in nine forests all over the UK. In each location, there’s miles of woodland for your pet to run through – and Forest Holidays provide special dog treats to keep fido energised (particularly Forest Holidays’ infamous Barkwell Tarts). Afterwards, dogs can warm up their little paws on the cabins’ under-floor heating. Meanwhile, two legged guests can hire bikes to discover the woodland paths, streams and lakes, then relax in a private hot tub, overlooking stunning views of the forest or a real wood-burning stove.
Pets Deli, Berlin
If you really love your pup, take them to this barking mad new concept opened by an animal nutritionalist. The German Pets Deli, for dogs and cats, sells specially prepared meals for your furry friends. They serve up everything from broccoli and berries to turkey and kangaroo meat. The deli manager, Katharina Warkalla, concocts the healthy dishes with protein (meat) and a mix of pasta, rice and potatoes – they claim the meat is of such quality that it could be safely consumed by humans. Opt for a doggy tray to take away or let your dog eat in, while owners enjoy a coffee.
Pet Spa, London
If your dog’s more of a Paris Hilton pooch than a Lassie, it may prefer a good grooming over a muddy run. Doggy treatments at this West End spa, range from coat colour enhancers and blueberry and vanilla facials to aromatherapy massages, fresh breath treatments and even pet pedicures. While pets are being pampered at Pet Spa, owners can go shopping around one of London’s most fashionable areas. There’s even a Doggie Day Care service, so owners can explore King’s Road and relax in Hyde Park in the knowledge that their pooch is having a whale of a time.
Pets are allowed at a large number of the luxury properties available from CV Villas and the Il Molinazzo villa in Umbria, Italy is a great choice for spoiling your dog on holiday. It has been refurbished into a guest house, sleeping up to 14 people, with a private pool and tennis court, and is surrounded by miles of warm Italian countryside. The beautiful weather and scenery makes it perfect for lazy dog walks and the large grounds have plenty of shady terraces for your pup to cool down in.
Luxury Paw Camp, Devon, England
Dogs can even go to wellness retreats – NuBeginnings offers a doggy detox bootcamp in Illfracombe, close to the Dartmoor hills and spectacular beaches. Each owner and dog will get a proper evaluation when they arrive, after which the resident experts will decide on schedule of suitable fitness activities, nutrition advice, stretching and massage. Luxury accommodation, organic meals and therapy treatments are included at each bootcamp, naturally.